Leyton Orient midfielder Liam Kelly has urged his side to keep looking forward to the next game as his side set their sights on promotion this season. Kelly netted in Orient’s 2-1 victory at Grimsby last weekend, sealing back to back wins for the East London side.
Kelly who joined from Oldham Athletic in the summer has settled in well to life in E10 but is clear what the aims are this season. Speaking to leytonorientcom ahead of tomorrow’s game against Mansfield, “we want to be getting ourselves out of the division, we have got to win games to do that, we have done that twice in a row, now going into Saturday we are looking to win again. We will concentrate on ourselves and what we can do”
Kelly dropped down a division to sign for Orient and thinks that it will be a tough battle at the top of the league, “The league is going to be tight this season, I don’t think there will be a lot between teams” The former Oldham captain, has highlighted that consistency is paramount for a promotion bid, “the most consistent teams will end up winning the league or getting promoted and is what we have to try and be. Our performances need to be consistent, try and keep a clean sheet and be clinical at the other end. If we do that I can see us doing well”.
The O’s ground out a win at Grimsby after being far from their best in the first half at Blundell Park with Andy Hessenthaler praising the performance of keeper Alex Cisak. Speaking to leytonorient.com earlier today, “Alex’s done fantastic in the first half to keep it at 0-0, we have things to work on but I thought we showed great character and resilience”
Hessenthaler’s side punished two mistakes in the second half with the O’s boss acknowledging that his side will need to grind out results throughout the season, “we worked hard as a group and in the end we ground out the result. We will have to do that this season, when you get away from home, hang in there and be clinical”.
Along with Kelly, Ollie Palmer netted his first goal of the season last weekend with Hessenthaler pleased that his front man opened his account, “I was really pleased for Ollie, his performances have been excellent, he has just been lacking the goals in the first few games. You can’t criticise his work rate, he caused all kinds of problems. We have had a good chat and he is a great lad to work with”.
With four of the last five goals scored by midfielders, Hessenthaler feels his side have more of a threat going forward than last season, “looking at us as a team, we have goals coming from different areas, whereas last season we were reliant on Jay. This season already we have scored from wide areas, set pieces and central areas”
- Only 25% of Orient’s league goals last season were scored by midfielders
With Orient sitting 4th on 7 points from their opening four games, Kelly is happy with how his side have started however “it always could have been better, we should have got something out of Cheltenham and could of got something against Newport. Those in the past and we move forward, in our last two we have scored five and conceded one which is a good record. We have to keep moving forward and look to the next game which will be a tough test”.
The Stags arrive into Leyton on the back of their first league defeat last weekend to Plymouth. Mansfield have started well under boss Adam Murray this season with the former player chuffed with his sides start.
- Their second successive away game before three consecutive away games
Murray who spoke to mansfieldtown.net earlier in the week reflecting on their first league defeat of the season, “there were negatives which have been turned to positives and with a full week on the training pitch, plans for the long term along with Saturday can be put into action”.
- Previous league results (2-0L Plymouth, 1-1 vs Cheltenham, 3-2 W vs Newport and 1-0 v Yeovil)
- Recent away games (most recent first) – LWLWLLL
Mansfield looked sluggish in the opening 30 minutes at Plymouth which ultimately cost them the result according to Murray. Speaking post match “we started slow and were sloppy, when you do that against good teams you will get punished. We didn’t have the energy or drive in the opening half an hour, they came out the block and caught us cold. “
- Last season’s away record – P23 W10 D3 L10 F27 A27
Murray echoed that the league will be very tight this season, “results today showed again how tight it will be, we would have taken the start if we were offered it at the start. The big thing we need to get right this season is we need to be consistent 7’s to be successful in this league”.
Interest has been made in striker Matt Green with Murray confirming that they declined a bid for the striker. Speaking after the Plymouth defeat, “we have had a bid of interest in Matt this week, the bid was not up to our value. We don’t want to lose him, he is a key player for us and a bid would have to be extreme for him to go as he is a valuable player. We don’t have to sell him”.
- Green has netted 18 goals in 45 goals in his Mansfield career
- Scored 16 in 46 last season and has scored 2 in 4 games this season
Murray knows that his side have to go into games with the right mindset if they are to achieve success this season. Speaking on mansfieldtown.net about tomorrow’s opponents “they can’t fail this season, the position they are in as a club, they have put a lot of resources into it. They are a big club and have to go up this season. If we are fresh and are on it, we are good enough to beat anyone in this league. We need to go with that mindset”.
Ollie Palmer will be pushing for a recall after netting off of the bench in last weekend’s victory at Grimsby. Striker Jay Simpson sat out last weekend and could recover from his back injury to be named in the matchday sqaud.
Jack Thomas, Krystian Pearce, Pat Hoban, Scott Shearer and Chris Clements are all doubts for tomorrow’s game at Orient. Former O’s striker Darius Henderson could be handed a start against his former club after impressing at Plymouth in the second half.
Head to Head – Leyton Orient 24 , Draw 14 , Mansfield Town 12
Last meeting – 30/04/2016 – Leyton Orient 1-0 Mansfield
- Orient are unbeaten in their last nine games (winning 7 and drawing 2)
- Mansfield have lost their last six games at Brisbane Road
- Orient have scored in the last 10 meetings
- Orient have only failed to score in one of last 17 meetings
Prediction – Leyton Orient 2-0 Mansfield Town